On the heels of the 2014 Bonzo Bash, a wildly successful tribute to John Bonham and the inaugural and historic Randy Rhoads Remembered, which paid tribute to the late Ozzy Osborne guitarist , Brian Tichy has done it again with another incredible tribute honoring rock legends from The Who – bass player and drummer of The Who – John Entwistle (“The Ox”) and Keith Moon (“The Loon”).
An all-star cast was assembled at The House of Blues Sunset for “The Ox and The Loon” and the bill was packed with an incredible list of top musicians, a Buzzard Bass and Natal replica kit of The Who, the show went on for hours with bass player after bass player, drummer after drummer and included many surprises, such as Lemmy being presented with a bass legend award and a drum award going to Kenny Aronoff.
The “backing band” included the keyboard wizardry of Stephen LeBlanc of Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience throughout the show, Dio/Billy Ray Cyrus/DC-4’s Rowan Robertson, The Moby Dicks’ Brent Woods and Tichy on guitar. Many of the “groupings” of musicians for the evening would give any band out there a run for their money.
I Can’t Explain and Join Together started the show with the legendary Phil Chen on bass, Tichy on drums, Robertson and Woods on guitar, LeBlanc on keys, and the incredible Joe Retta on lead vocals. Those songs made The Who’s music really come to life and were worth the price of admission right there.
Squeeze Box and The Kids Are Alright featured the lead vocals of Foreigner’s Tom Gimbel, with Sean McNabb on bass, LeBlanc on keys, Tracii Guns on guitar, and Rikki Rockett on drums. Afterwards, Guns jokingly referred to their act as “Guns-n-Rocketts”.
Going Mobile featured PHILM/ex-Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo, Whitesnake’s Michael Devin on vocals, King’s X/KXM’s Dug Pinnick on bass and the guitar trio of Woods, Robertson and Tichy. Joe Retta returned on vocals and PHILM’s Pancho Tomaselli played bass for BARGAIN and “Summertime Blues”. The crowd was loving every minute of it and seeing Lombardo play Moon’s drum parts was definitely a highlight of the evening.
On See Me, Feel Me, the incredible drumming of Veronica Bellino wowed the crowd, along with Oni Logan’s stunning vocals, James LoMenzo on bass. The Moby Dicks’ Chas West then sang lead on The Punk and the Godfather.
Drummer Stephen Perkins was “The Loon” and Foreigner’s Jeff Pilson was “The Ox” for a super-charged version of My Generation
Kenny Aronoff gave a commanding performance on drums for Pinball Wizard, Boris The Spider and I Can See For Miles featuring Phil Soussan on bass, with Devin taking over for him on Who Are You.
Mike Portnoy and Billy Sheehan of the Winery Dogs (and a subsequently assembled all-star Who Tribute band from 2008) joined West, Robertson and LeBlanc for incredible versions of Tommy Overture, Amazing Journey and Sparks.
Bassist Robert Trujillo and drummer Stephen Perkins of Infectious Grooves fame were joined by Dug Pinnick on vocals and Fountains of Wayne guitarist Jody Porter for a ferocious version of The Real Me and Long Live Rock, which included Logan, Devin and Retta joining in on background vocals.
Chad Smith then played Young Man Blues and Baba O’Riley with Tichy doing some “Townsend-windmilling” on guitar, the incredible James Lomenzo on bass and Devin singing and showing off some harmonica skills.
Days before his 63rd birthday and after just being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Ace Frehley took the stage with his solo band’s drummer, Matt Starr, with The Cult’s Chris Wyse on bass for “The Seeker”, “Substitute” and “Behind Blues Eyes”, along with an elated Tichy on acoustic, who had also has run last summer with a tribute to 70s era KISS with Bumblefoot Rex Brown and Mark Zavon).
Rounding out the super-group portion of the performance, Tracii Guns then joined Devin, West, Woods, LeBlanc and Tichy for Love Reign O’er Me.
Already clocking in at around 3 1/2 hours on a weeknight, you’d think the show was over, but in true “Bonzo Bash style”, most participating musicians of the evening got up and played a rousing rendition of Won’t Get Fooled Again with the show ending in true to form fashion, as the replica drum kit and Phil Chen’s bass were trashed in the show’s closing. This was another historic jam that will surely go down in the rock history books. Anyone in attendance that was yet a fan of The Who became one and the existing fans now have an even deeper appreciation for Moon, Entwistle and the incredible catalog and legacy of the band.